• Sun, Apr 24 2011

‘Troll Hunter’ Trailer: A Brief History of Trolls

In 2010, Norway produced a little horror movie called Troll Hunter. Done in the vérité style that’s become so popular these days, it tracks a team of troll hunters as they go… well, troll hunting (no, not the internet kind). And guess what? It’s finally coming to the US! On June 10th, Troll Hunter will see a limited release stateside, and I have to admit, I’m kind of intrigued. For the curious, check out the trailer below:

Kind of crazy, right? Trolls may be kind of hokey, but it looks like they can be pretty terrifying, too. Most of what I know about trolls is limited to Treasure Trolls and to the three-headed troll that chants “Disappear! Disappear!” at you before trying to send you over a waterfall in the Norway ride at Disney World, though, so I decided to dig around a little and see what else I could find out. Here’s what I’ve got:

In Norse mythology, “troll” was originally another way to refer to a “jötunn,” or giant. It wasn’t a nice term, though; “troll” was just as much of an insult then as it is now, so save it for people you really don’t like. It’s thought that according to Norse mythology, there were originally four types of beings: lords of nature, mythical magicians, hostile monsters, and heroic beings. Trolls were generally classified as the mythical magicians; over time, they became known as being somewhat larger than humans and a whole lot uglier. Trolls like to live in caves and mountains, sometimes with family units (Trolls have families! Who knew?), and they turn into stone if touched by sunlight, and they’ve been known to eat humans from time to time. Freaky-looking rock formations are sometimes said to be trolls that have turned to stone.

Various friendlier versions of trolls have appeared in pop-culture occasionally– the character of Detritus in the Discworld series, the so-ugly-they’re-cute trolls of the Norwegian Troll Shop, Treasure Trolls, and so on– but Troll Hunter looks like it’s going back to the older, scarier version (and hey, he’s three-headed, too!). He looks huge, he looks angry, and he looks pretty hungry– none of which bodes well for our intrepid troll hunters. What I’m especially curious about, though, is exactly what form this mockumentary will take: Is it intended to be viewed as a full documentary? Is it going to be closer to the raw found footage style of Blair Witch and Cloverfield? Or will it be the sort of hybrid that Super 8 is looking to be? I’m not sure yet. But I think I may have to keep my ear to the ground about screenings, because I’m dying to find out.

Trolls: Scary or silly? What do you guys think?

[Via Topless Robot]

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
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